10.04.2006

Found: The Quality of Season Two


It was under my couch.

No, no... it was actually in ABC's ridiculous airing schedule. Trying to find an original episode of Lost being broadcast last season between September and May practically required a Mayan calendar -- and it really hurt the quality and overall effectiveness of the season. Having just blazed through about 20 episodes in the last week, I find that season two of Lost stands up incredibly well to the high standard that season one set forward.

During its original broadcast schedule, the show itself seemed lost -- meandering between characters' backstories and not making a strong connection between their pasts and their episodic situations on the island. A tighter schedule would have connected events better thematically over the course of the season.

Here's a quick rundown of their season two broadcast schedule:
Starting on 9/21:
5 weeks of shows
2 weeks off
4 weeks of shows
5 weeks off (!!!!!)
3 weeks of shows
1 week off
2 weeks of shows
2 weeks off
1 show
2 weeks off
4 weeks of shows
2 weeks off
4 weeks of shows

Three shows in eight weeks totally killed the momentum.

Begin Spoiler Alert


The arrival of Henry Gale changed the tone of the show for the better. Breaking up that arc over the course of the second part of the season totally ruined it for the viewers.

Season two had a few other things going against it -- season one might be one of the best seasons of any show broadcast on network television, and the Anna Lucia character had almost no redeeming qualities. I'm still shocked by Michael's betrayal, but after re-watching the exploits of the Tail Section, I don't miss her as much.

The second season also did much to debunk the whole "island magic" thing, pointing towards Dr. Moreau-science as the reason for most goings-ons. I think viewers dug the enchantment/mystical theme and just got a little cranky when they realized it might be smoke and mirrors.

One thing everyone needs to remember -- there is a long-term plan (according to the producers). Thinking that you have everything figured out after only a quarter of the story is presumptuous.

End Spoiler Alert

Season three does promise to be more cohesive -- a six episode mini-arc to start, a break until 2007 and then 18 episodes straight until May.

Where does Lost stand amongst television's giants? I still think it's broadcast television's best show, Academy for Television Arts and Sciences be damned!

If you haven't gotten into it, I implore you -- get the first and second seasons and decide for yourself whether it's worth your time. Don't let a disenchanted viewer or a hyper fanboy like myself convince you one way or another. Beyond the island, the magic, and the science it's simply a story of human relationships. We as humans are connected by the way we simply deal with things - whether they're joyous moments like a World Series win or tragic ones like a terrorist attack, or a plane crash. Lost just changes the scenery for us.

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